If you’ve newer heard of pagpag/ bag pag, it is a Tagalog term to literally mean leftover food. Now whilst leftover food does not sound all that bad it has now taken on a second meaning.
Since around the 1980’s in places such as the Smoky Mountain slum of Manila it has come to have the added meaning of people who go dumpster diving for leftover KFC, McDonalds, or Jollibee, clean off the crud, recook the food and then eat it! Salivating yet?
To read more about pagpag click here.
To see video of pagpag being made click here.
Would you eat pagpag?
Unsurprisingly pagpag has been linked to various illneses, but in the slums of Manila has become a cheap way for many people to eat and essentially survive.
Ironically now “dumpster diving” has now become a hipster thing in the UK. You can read about the “gutter gourmet” here. Spoiler alert the guy is an utter twat.
Pag Pag Recipe
In some respects this might make me a bit of a hypocrite, but after seeing the leftovers from our group KFC I have decided to see what homemade bag bag might look like!
I will not though be dumpster diving, this is more a test in what actual pagpag might taste like, as well as an exercise in avoiding waste!
Step 1 – Eat the food
Me and a trusted colleague will eat as much of the KFC as we can, before then leaving the leftovers until the next day. Please observe our before and after food to pagpag pictures….
Step 2 – Survey for wreckage
Pagpag is all about leftovers, and obviously they do not always look that great. We have been left with the following ingredients!
A whole heap of bits of burger buns, bits of chicken burger, potato wedges, bits of cheese and fries. In rubbish bag number 2 we have a bunch of old chicken bones!
24 hours later
Pag pag has not been binned, but left out in bags. Leftover bread etc, and the bag of bones from which I will concoct two pagpag dishes.
KFC pag pag hash
Step 1 – Wash the food.
I decided to do more a visual inspection as I did not eat to wet the bread. I then put all the food together and set the frying pan off.
Step 2 – Fry the pagpag
With hindsight I should have pushed it together, like an actual hash, but I didn’t do it exactly right. After 15 minutes I piled it onto a plate. I then added hot sauce, leftover gravy and some vinegar.
Step 3 – Eat KFC fried pagpag
It largely stayed together and the bread, and wedges tasted surprisingly good, well not awful. The burger parts too worked as part of a leftover hash. France fries do not survive so well in this dish.
Overall thoughts on the KFC fried pagpag? Not bad, filling and enough for a meal. Amazingly all from leftovers I would have usually thrown out. Would I have been as comfortable if I had known it came from a dumpster? No, no I would not.
Dish 2 – KFC Chicken Soup
So chicken bones alone make great soup, which has always made me wonder if the chicken bones from a KFC would have the same overall affect? Particularly if left with a slightly liberal amount of meat on them
Step 1 – Clean the bones
This involved a very loose rinse, although with the fact they had no been in the rubbish my pag pag bones were clean.
Step 2 – In the saucepan
Boil some water, throw in the bones. Easy.
Step 3 – Add the flavor
For me I have added Pepsi, yes thats right leftover pepsi (a small cup) salt, hot sauce, and the last bits of gravy from the previous nights KFC
Step 4 – Boil the pagpag bones
Throw it in the saucepan, cover it and let it cook!
Step 5 – Add stuff
I added leftover KFC rice (2 cupfuls), onion, salt and a tiny bit of hot sauce.
Step 6 – Cook it for an hour
Just as I said let it cook for an hour! Check on it eery now and again and add additional water if needed.
Step 7 – Eat it!
OK, so pagpag chicken soup is a game changer! Basically by slow cooking the chicken starts to drip off the bone, the rice softens and the classic KFC skin fill it with grease and flavor! Surprisingly the coke gives a very very slight sweet tang.
KFC pagpag soup tastes in some ways like a classic soup you would get from cooking regular chicken bones, but the KFC element totally removes any blandness and dare I say a KFC twang to it.
My first time cooking pagpag! Overall, pretty good….